Is Champagne Gluten-Free?
It’s generally believed that all types of wine including champagne are gluten-free. In fact, scientists estimate that up to 99% of the time, this drink is absolutely free of gluten. However, there are cases where cross contamination can occur during processing or packaging and this can make the beverage impure. For instance, if winery barrels have been used to keep malt-based drinks before being used for storage of champagne, this can cause contamination.
Nevertheless, more champagne producers are becoming aware of gluten problems and are thus avoiding wheat-based pastes during production, something that’s occasionally used to seal barrels. As a consumer, if you have a favorite brand, give them a quick call to get some basic answers on the probability of your beverage containing gluten. In the modern age, more consumers are checking labels on both wine and food products to ensure that they are gluten-free.
It’s widely believed that sparkling wine such as champagne contains high portions of dissolved CO2. This is what makes them bubble profusely when emptied into a glass. The carbonation that causes this rise is caused by natural yeast fermentation. However, the yeast that’s used to make champagne is different from others such as brewer’s yeast and does not contain any gluten.
All champagne is prepared from fermented grapes with the most common varieties being Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. The same procedure used in cultivating grapes for wine production is what’s used in the cultivation of champagne vineries as well.
Typically, this product is prepared from a blend of between 30 to 50 private still wines from different vineyards, and even vintages. During processing, the wines will go through a primary fermentation process before a final fermentation is done. This involves infusion of safe yeast and sugar in order to create the signature bubbles.
Currently, the list of gluten-free liquor beverages is much longer than the number of off-limit drinks. Apart from champagne, there are other similar forms of alcohol that may be gluten-free, such as cognac, sherry and vermouth. Sometimes, knowing what types of alcohol are safe to consume can be confusing since some alcoholic drinks are distilled directly from gluten based grains. Nevertheless, so long as the beverages are distilled and grains are not added back into the mash containing gluten, then the drink will remain absolutely gluten-free.
Champagne Gluten-Free Labeling
However, American labeling laws forbid beverages prepared from cereal grains at any stage of manufacturing to advertise using the “gluten-free” label. Though many celiac patients avoid distilled beverages that use cereal grains during manufacturing, there are still others who take them without encountering any major issues.
Therefore, as a consumer, if you see “gluten-free” on your distilled champagne beverage, it means no gluten compounds were used at any time during the production stage. Such wines are absolutely safe for those with a gluten sensitivity.
So is champagne gluten-free? Yes, but be particularly careful with the brands that add extra ingredients to their wines for a unique taste or for preservation. Some manufacturers have the habit of occasionally updating their ingredients. Therefore, always do a little research before picking any particular champagne bottle from the store.